On Finding Meaning in the Mundane
Meaning is a loaded word. We want to find meaning. To have meaning. To live lives of meaning. But what about days filled to the brim with un-meaningful tasks? Noses that need wiping, a dog that needs walking, soup that needs to be made for someone who has experienced a loss, coffee to be made for your spouse's commute. Is there meaning in the mundane?
Sometimes I get really tired of all the normalcy in my life. Don't get me wrong: I love that my life is quiet and authentic. But sometimes it feels a little too authentic. A little lacking in the glamour and glitz department and a bit too girl-next-door. A little vanilla.
Social media and blogs and websites encourage this dissatisfaction in all of us. Even those geared to Spirit-believers hold up the ideal: the men and women who "challenge, motivate, change others, assist, guide, profess, and take charge," can leave the rest of us feeling, well, less-than.
In the world of art this is a potential landmine, too. Everyone it seems is doing better work than you. His paintings just got accepted for a solo exhibit. Her song was just nominated for an award. His book won the contest. Her choreography routine was just held up as an example (again) of what this dance was meant to look like. Bravo, bravo!
So where does that leave you?
If we're not vigilant, it can leave us bitter.
Meaning in the Mundane
I'm reading a fascinating book right now called, Between Walden and the Whirlwind, by Jean Fleming. After a several weeks of feeling off, feeling like I'm not doing anything that's of meaning to anyone, I read this passage today:
But it is not the job that determines its worth and impact, rather the heart of the person approaching and executing the task. No work in itself is spiritual or secular. Prayer can be secular if it is offered as a perfunctory exercise of form; sorting socks or changing the oil can become a sacrament when done with a pure heart surrendered to God.
What a relief. That which makes our lives meaningful doesn't require big waves of applause, formal dress or being covered in glitter and confetti. Even the mundane has meaning if it's done from the right place in our hearts.
What do you think? Are you struggling to find meaning in your days? If so, please share in the comments.
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